Sunday, March 10, 2013

Snow Day: A Washington DC Definition

snow day (noun) a day on which public schools or other institutions are closed due to heavy snow.
--World English Dictionary

Maybe that's the case in other areas of the country.  In the Washington D.C. region, we might need our own definition.  The weather in our area is notoriously difficult to predict.  Or so the weather forecasters tell me every time they get it wrong. 

Washington DC snow day (noun) develops a few days in advance with lots of media hype and large scale projections,  "up to a foot of snow possible in some areas..."  Clever people always name Washington DC snowstorms so we can talk about "Snowquester's" impact on our day, the economy, the power lines, etc.  The hype and anticipation is a big part of the ritual because we never know which way the wind will blow (literally) and how it will ultimately affect us.  Kids (and teachers!) share their expert, foolproof ways to bring on the snow...inside out pajamas, spoons under the pillow, ice cubes in the toilet, snow dances.  We haven't had significant snow in our area in two years so We Want a Snow Day! is a popular refrain.

In the early morning hours on the day of the approaching storm, Washington DC snow day (noun) continues.  I don't envy the people who have to make the decision to close schools and governments in our area.  Using the information they receive from the completely unreliable meteorologists, they decide our fates.  Err on the side of caution and hear the ridicules and complaints.  Take a gamble and risk the eight hour commuting gridlock calamity we got last year.  Usually they err on the side of caution.  I don't blame them.  I'd take ridiculing over a traffic jam any day of the week. 

No school! Washington DC snow day (noun) really begins after the announcement is posted.   Our snow day is a day of sleeping in late.  Drinking coffee and reading the newspaper by the fire.  Putting on the snow pants, boots, mittens, hats, coats and heading out into the...hmm.  Where's the snow? 

Washington DC snow day (noun) is a day subject to ridicule--"Snowquester" gets changed to "Slushquester" and most of our area just gets rain.  Residents recently transplanted from the North and Midwest shake their heads in disbelief.  

Yeah, the fluffy white stuff would have been nice.  But I'll take the extra day off anyway.  Washington DC snow day (noun) No snow required.

I didn't get out my camera to take pictures of the slushy driveway, sorry.  But our unpredictable weather went from snow day on Wednesday to sunny and 60 degrees on Saturday.  Washington DC sprinkler day, anyone?

1 comment:

  1. Allison,
    Recently transplanted residents TO the midwest are insanely jealous.

    Last week the base was closed due to snow, but the kids only had a 2 hr delay . . . in what universe could you ever believe that happens?
    (You'll note I was not complaining about the afternoon with a spouse and no kids)